Recession Decorating: Shop Your Own Home First

Every time I open a fashion magazine, it tells me to shop my own closet before buying new spring clothes, but what about our homes?  With summer in the air, most homeowners are thinking about upcoming projects and improvements that need to be done.  However, the economic forecast remains unstable.  Now seems to be the time to look at what you have, and applying the new way of thinking:  reuse, recycle, rescue, and rehab.

One of the easiest updates is paint.  A fresh coat can transform a room in an instant.  Paint is still one of the most simple and inexpensive updates you can do yourself, and the options for colors are endless.  Maybe this is the year you break out of your shell and paint a room an unexpected, vibrant color.  Try to be fearless in choosing color – the worst thing that happens is you repaint.
Wood or metal furniture can benefit from a new coat of paint as well.  That old black iron based coffee table takes on new meaning when painted a verdigris color.  Try something unexpected like decoupaging a map or a series of botanicals to the top of wood table.  You can seal it with polyurethane for protection.

Update the accessories.  Look around the house at what your current accessories are and start editing.  It’s all about the proportion, and sometimes less is more.  Pull interesting-looking books off the shelves and use them to elevate decorative boxes or candles – look for a balance on your tables with varying heights.  Using accessories in uneven numbers is key – if you have a pair of candlesticks, throw in a low bowl or picture frame.

Maybe the old accessories just need a facelift – a new lampshade can do wonders for an old lamp.  Adding a metallic stripe along the sides of an old box gives new life.  Since adding glitz to a room is a current trend, why not glue beads or mirrored squares to a container?  Embellished pillows are great to glam it up as well.  Just remember a little goes a long way, so don’t turn the house into a craft store.

Look through your storage room or under the cabinets for rarely used items to see if they could easily be incorporated into your room, even with a little help.  There’s always a bowl or tray received as a gift that could be used – add some limes or lemons to a clear bowl for a splash of color.

Recover those old chairs.  Just recovering dining chair seats can make a huge difference and liven up an ignored area.  Small seat cushions are easy to do yourself if the fabric simply staples underneath.  Get the glue gun out to add some fringe or gimp to tidy up the edges.  Slipcovers are also great to refresh an area – there are many ready-made styles that can be customized with trims and pillows.

Try to think out of the box when it comes to decorating your home and saving money.  These are quick, easy fixes, and you may be surprised to find you had the perfect items all along.

—Jan Finlayson, Allied Member ASID


Categories: Design Tips Furniture Buying Tips

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